The daughter of the Press Secretary of the Russian President Elizaveta Peskova recently complained in her post on Instagram that Paris isn't as it was. The Gazeta.Ru editorial board decided to find out more about this and talked with the 19-year-old student of the business school about why she likes to live in the French capital, no matter what.
- How long have you been living in Paris?
- In Paris, I've lived for more than 6 years. When I was nine, my parents sent me to the summer camp of the Ecole des Roches school in Normandy. First for a month, then for six months, and at age 11 I moved to full study in France. On the weekend from the boarding school I went to Paris to my friends' apartment. Currently I live in Paris all the time.
- What impression did the city make on you on your first visit? What was it like?
- My first acquaintance with Paris occurred when I was six years old. My parents brought me to Halloween at Disneyland. This trip remained for me one of the brightest memories of the past with parents from times when they were happy together. Paris I remembered as a sunny, pure city awakening joy and good mood. Now I do not look through the eyes of a tourist, but I remember perfectly that 13 years ago it was a safe, bright city.
- Why did you live there? What do you like about Paris?
- In Paris, I stayed to live for a million reasons. My best friend instilled my love for it; he's the son of my mother's friend, who graduated from Ecole des Roches and on whose recommendation I went there to study. He was like a brother to me, and it was in his apartment that I lived on the weekend. He adored France and told me a lot about its history and customs, he showed me what the French art de vivre and French traditions are. When he died tragically, my mother started renting an apartment for me, and since I was 15 I lived alone. Most of all I like that in Paris, all distances are short. I can plan my day with ease, accurately calculating my time, having time to do all the planned things.
Here I am in time much more than in Moscow, despite the fact that most of the distances I cover on foot or by metro and besides I get great pleasure from these walks.
In addition to everything here is the ideal climate for me. Four seasons are pronounced, and the city is beautiful in each of them. Cold never lasts more than two weeks, the streets are almost always dry and clean (you can ignore shoes cleaning for months, and they last for a long time). I like that in the morning I can go out to the bakery almost in my pajamas and it will not be strange for me to see that in five minutes walk, next to the house I have everything from a gym to the printing centers. In France, there are a lot of interesting beautiful historical places, where you can go for a weekend without spending a whole day on the road. For me, Paris is a spontaneous city.
- People who moved to live in another country usually undergo a period of adaptation. Have you experienced something like this? Was it necessary to get used to living in another city?
- Probably, due to the fact that our family moved many times due to the dad's work, I adapt very quickly in any place. I do not care where I am, I feel good everywhere. I, like many of my generation, am a person of the world, a cosmopolitan, and I am amazed by the eternal accusations that sound to me when they say that I should live in Russia. I remember very well the times when our family did not have any money, and my mother and father put me to bed and, after their studies and work, went moonlighting. Never in our lives have we experienced envy and anger towards more successful or rich than we are. The main things in our family were friendship, support and love.
So now I feel sorry for people who leave vicious comments on the Internet, and until they understand that envy will not make their life better, nothing will change in their life.
The only problem I faced when moving was the language barrier. Living and studying among the French, it is necessary to speak their language in order to really understand them and become one of them. At first, it was very difficult for me to get used to boarding life, because I was not communicated with and mocked because of my appearance (I was a full pimply girl with a big nose, and I was nicknamed Pinocchio), and besides, I did not say a word at all in any foreign language.
- How are your relations with the French? Who do you communicate with? Are you friendly with your neighbors?
— В целом я не делю людей по национальному признаку. У меня есть несколько хороших друзей, и с ними я вообще забываю, что они французы. Дом у нас очень тусовочный, и каждую неделю в одной из квартир обязательно проходит вечеринка. Из-за очень хорошей слышимости в османовских зданиях (это дома, построенные в Париже в конце XIX – начале XX века, когда префектом департамента Сена был барон Осман. — «Газета.Ru») правилом хорошего тона является вывесить в лифте за сутки до мероприятия объявление, в котором будет предупреждение о грядущей тусовке и приглашение всех соседей на огонек.
- Who makes up your circle of communication, mostly the Russians or the French?
- The French and Russians, who have long moved to France for permanent residence.
- Have you encountered manifestations of Russophobia in France?
- None of my family and friends have ever encountered cases of Russophobia in France. On the contrary, the French adore Russia and everything connected with it. Probably, the centuries-old cultural and historical connection between the countries is affecting.
- How do you think people of different nationalities living in Paris get along together?
- People who come to France and make efforts to preserve the culture and appearance of the city in which they want to live perfectly get along with the French and with the same visitors as they are.
But those who come to a foreign monastery with their charter, and, receiving benefits from the local government, do not even think to assimilate or at least learn the language, they do not cause anything other than rejection.
- Are there any differences between different regions of Paris? Do you like the area in which you live?
- There are, and very large, as in any metropolis. We live in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, and it is considered one of the most traditional and bourgeois areas. In it, I, I can say, grew up and I know it like my own five fingers. Recently I happened to visit the 19th district. My friend got robbed of money and phone from the car. The function Find my iPhone led us to this gangster district. As soon as we got there, the police approached us and, finding out what had brought us here, took us under the guard. The phone showed up in a known, as it turned out, store for stolen goods. In this area, filled with representatives of various ethnic groups, prostitutes and the most genuine criminal elements, even the French language is different. Back in our quiet 16th, we felt saved! In the area where I study - La Défense - I do not feel at all in Paris, and it actually depresses me. The district in which you live is your calling card. When meeting, asking the question, "where do you live", mean exactly the district.
- Is it possible to compare Paris with other cities in France? What is the difference?
- As in any country, the capital differs from other cities. In this case I can say that in other cities the true spirit of France has been preserved.
- What has changed in Paris for the time you live there?
- Over the past ten years in Paris, the level of security has dropped significantly. The number of homeless and refugees from different countries has increased.
- Now you have a desire to leave Paris?
- Now I am am excruciated with one question: where to live from next December, when I will finish the last year of the bachelor's degree ... At present I have no desire to leave Paris!
- Do you regret moving to Paris?
- I do not regret anything in this life, except that I once cut my hair!
I am very happy and grateful to my parents for the opportunity to live in Paris.
- Which city do you consider to be your native land?
- I was born in Ankara, lived in Moscow and study in Paris - so there is no such city. I very often move (I even store things in suitcases), I feel comfortable everywhere, but I do not feel attachments to places. As a joke in the family, we call each other nomads.